Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pink Angels (1972)

While 70's drive-in cinema is the one that doesn't lack cult oddities, there are flicks in this basket that will easily make all B-movies instructors drop their fruits. One of these peculiar pictures is called "Pink Angels" not without a reason as it overshadows a biker movie theme with genuine queer touch. As the legend says, the movie was made by a group of UCLA film students led by director Larry G. Brown, who later scored obscure, cult slasher "The Psychopath" (1975) and faded away just to re-emerge once from the depth in the 80's. It's definitely one of these rarities, that won't necessarily become a reason to pass a word about it to all your friends, but good enough to give it a try at home while toking up some good shit. I'd recommend it mostly to biker movie completists and gay community, not necessarily cross-excluding target groups!

In classic exploitative tradition we get a small bunch of burly bikers, who hit the road. This time it's a bit different though as we find out soon they are a gang of cross-dressers on the road to Los Angeles, where they hope to get some fun on a hectic drag queen party! Shopping is another thing they're into and real fever starts when their eyes catch some classy high heels, fancy dress or a new lipstick (very best scenes of the movie). However, life's not easy for a queer biker in the land of free and in order to survive in Nixon's America of christian values, they need to keep rather low profile... but that sometimes gets out of hand as the road adventures put them in danger of revealing their true identity to police forces, hookers, hotel porters and other bikers, who are dedicated to riding their choppers in full-blown aura of primal machismo!

This early example of queer exploitation (if such a fantasy ever made to be a subgenre) and definitely one of queer cinema unknown treaures is essentially a teasing biker movie with few laugh-out-loud scenes. The road this flick goes down is a typical genre scenario – the guys ride and have fun with obligatory love-in set in the middle – this time it's tweaked a bit and includes table cloth, red wine and cheese! The Man keeps an eye on the angels though – a kind of veering element for a biker movie, which resembles very much early blacksploitation flicks. Behind the scenes there are still forces of order, which are dead set to bury all long-haired freaks, weirdos, acidheads and queers six feet under.

This right wing agenda is personified in "Pink Angels" by a rigid US military general, residing in his anonymous, but very powerful office – we get to know him mostly be exposing flashes as he contributes very little to the action serving mostly as a metaphorical tool. He's majesty is deadly serious about his mission, always being shown with American flag in the background. Most of the time he talks to his people or takes orders from above, which is a countercultural false mirror of establishment's morality and politics. When our queens finally get to Los Angeles, chased by brutal bikers, with whom they just partied the day before leaving them wasted, but with a little bit of make-up, a die-hard recognition of traditional morality takes turn and slowly crawls out from underneath in order to bust their weird asses!